The Constitution of the United States is the fundamental framework on which the country is governed. From creating a government and putting the power in the hands of the people to separating the powers of legislative, executive and the judicial branches, the US constitution plays a significant role in defining how the country is to operate. Furthermore, it also describes the objectives and the duties of the government along with distributing the power between the federal and the state governments.
Besides for what we have told you, how much do you know about the Constitution of the United States? Do you know when was the Constitution written and who wrote it? Or for that matter, where was it signed? If you have been browsing the web looking for the answers to these questions, then you have landed on the right page. Below is everything you need to know about the US Constitution.
Not many people know this, but the one currently into effect is not the first draft of the Constitution enforced in the United States. After the US had declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, there was an urgent need to establish a national government. The Article of Confederation, the first constitution of the US, was adopted by the Continental Congress on 15 November 1777, which was only ratified by all the 13 states by 1 March 1781. However, it created a fragile confederation of sovereign states and resulted in a weak government on the federal level.
Since the Article of Confederation vested an insufficient power in the hands of the Central Government, the need for a new and better Constitution grew. On 25 May 1787, a convention began held in Philadelphia at Pennsylvania State House, which was attended by 55 delegates from all states except Rhode Island. The idea to make amendments to the Article of Confederation was quickly discarded, and the proposal to form an entirely new Constitution was raised. By September, a five-member committee, including Rufus King, Alexander Hamilton, William Samuel Johnson, Gouverneur Morris and James Madison, had made the final draft of the constitution and on 17 September, George Washington became the first person to sign it.
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The Constitution did not come into effect just as when it was signed as it was required to be approved by ratification process. It was necessary that at least nine of the 13 states ratify it. On 21 June 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to do so, and the Confederation Congress was established on 4 March 1789.
The Constitution of the US is not to be confused with the Declaration of Independence (), although the two are connected in the spirit. While the declaration lists the grievances against England aimed at justifying the separation of the US from the British rule, the US Constitution is the law of the land which was a charter of government and ratified by the states.
Here are some interesting facts about the Constitution of the US that you ought to know.
#1. While the US Constitution was being prepared, it was kept highly secret; behind locked doors and guarded by sentries.
#2. The US Constitution is also the oldest and the shortest of all the national constitutions.
#3. While only thirty amendments have gone to the states and twenty-seven have gained the necessary approval, more than 11,000 total amendments have been introduced in the Congress.
#4. The original Constitution is put on display at the National Archives in Washington DC. At the time Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, it was moved to Fort Knox to be kept safe.
#5. Many delegates who attended the Philadelphia Convention argued that the Constitution failed to describe individual rights. Therefore, in 1791, the first ten amendments were made to it, which came to be known as the Bill of Rights.
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